It’s one of Worry Less Design’s most popular Greetings Cards and the phrase pops up on Google and Pinterest anytime you are minded to search for Funny and Cycling at the same time. But it was only while I was sitting in my full running kit at the bottom of my stairs waiting for Strava to download onto my new phone before I would even consider leaving the house that I truly understood what it meant and why people are so passionate about it.
Strava, Garmin, Fitbit, whatever your tracker of choice, for some reason it adds a little something to your effort in getting out of the door. Whether it be at the crack of dawn or after a hard day at work or when you have finally managed to barricade the toddler terrorists into their bedrooms and their father has appeared home from work. You feel like someone out there CARES that you are going for a run and not only that but will tell you how far you went, how fast (or slow) you went and sometimes even congratulates you.
And then, in the case of Strava at least (sorry other types of tracker users, maybe they do too but I don’t know), people who follow you on Strava can also congratulate you by giving you a Kudos. I remember saying that to my friends at school a million years ago and we thought we were the coolest (but then I also said Brillsie a lot instead of Brilliant), so yay for Strava being all retro.
Then you get a weekly summary of Km covered, you can monitor your speed per Km, elevations of your route and brilliantly (or brillsiantly as my 13 year old self would have said) you can see where you rank for certain stretches/segments against other Strava users.
I recently discovered one long 1.8km uphill stretch near my house which has been named the Winslade Road Climb on Strava (curiously the road isn’t called Winslade Road but it is definitely a climb). So far this year I have run it 14 times and not thought anything of it other than “bloody hell will this hill never end?” Then last week, Strava tells me I have done it in my fastest time yet (I even got a virtual trophy – love you Strava) and as I read through the stats I saw that I am also the 19th fastest person EVER up this hill. Well, there was the gauntlet, right there. 2 more attempts later, I recruited my sister and we’ve climbed the leader board to 17th and we’ve only got to improve it by another 7 secs to get to 15th. We’re having another go today. Competitive much?
As our cycling training kicks in and we are doing longer distances and Sportives and whatnot, the Strava record of your ride is a badge of honour, not of the speed (although it is important) but a chest beating record of how far you went this time and a spur to go further next time.
If it’s not on Strava, it definitely didn’t happen. Fact.